Frankfurt Book Fair to host The Markets: Global Publishing Summit 2015

Seven relevant book and media markets are the focus of The Markets – Global Publishing Summit, the new event to kick off the Frankfurt Book Fair (14-18 October 2015). During this one-day event to be held on the day before the fair officially opens, industry experts from the respective regions will provide exclusive insight into their markets and valuable first-hand knowledge. “With this conference, we’re helping our clients tap into business potential, recognize prospective areas for business and make personal contacts,” says Juergen Boos, Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair. For each book market, one segment will be examined:

Germany – Academic publishing and specialist information
China – International partnerships and joint ventures
Mexico – Trade publishers
Indonesia – Trade publishers
South Korea – Education and children’s books
Turkey – The total market
USA – Digital publishing and innovation

Up until the actual event on Tuesday, 13 October, the Frankfurt Book Fair will be publishing profiles and – to the extent available – market overviews of the selected markets.

China: Growing opportunities for publishers

With an increase in sales of 4.6 per cent to 9 billion euros, the volume of the Chinese book market expanded significantly in 2013. According to an assessment in “THE CHINESE BOOK MARKET 2015”, the current report produced by the Book Information Centre (BIZ) Beijing, the Chinese book sector has opened up in recent years, compared to the 1980s and 1990s. A number of international publishing groups are active in the Chinese book market through subsidiaries and branches of various sizes, including Pearson, Reed Elsevier, Thomson, Wolters Kluwer, Bertelsmann, McGraw-Hill, Harper Collins, Springer and Oxford University Press. Even so, China’s publishing sector remains one of the most powerfully state-controlled industry branches, and foreign investors have only limited access to its distribution and printing sectors.

At the same time, however, more and more opportunities for international partnerships are opening up – through co-productions and co-editions of individual titles or through joint ventures, for instance. By way of an example, the BIZ report mentions the joint venture between Hachette Livre and the Phoenix Publishing and Media Group, which has published over 150 titles annually since its start in 2011. German publishers have also been expanding their business reach: in March 2015 Bastei Lübbe opened a branch in China, and in February 2014 the German media group MairDumont launched BPG MAIRDUMONT MEDIA LTD, a joint venture with the Beijing Publishing Group.

China plays a key role as a licensing partner for international publishers. The rise in license sales to China in recent years attests to a growing interest in foreign books. In 2013 China acquired the rights to a total of 16,625 foreign book titles. Of these, 5,489 were from the United States, 2,521 from Great Britain, 1,852 from Japan, 1,472 from South Korea (Source: China Publisher’s Yearbook 2014) and 1,081 from Germany (Source: Buch und Buchhandel in Zahlen 2014).

Megatrend digitisation

A survey by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication for 2014 found that digital media have outstripped books as the most-read medium in China. According to the survey, 58.1 per cent of Chinese adults read digitally; in 2008, this figure stood at a mere 24.5 per cent. In 2014 China’s readers consumed a total of 1.4 billion digital titles. The preferred reading device is the mobile phone (51.8 per cent), while e-book readers (5.3 per cent) remain a niche product. The enormous growth of social media tools has been instrumental to this development. The trend app WeChat now has 600 million registered users. Currently 115 publishers use the app to spread product information through their public accounts in a targeted manner. Another trend has also emerged in recent years: China’s internet giants, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, Xiaomi and, have muscled into the competitive online book market to broaden their range of entertainment offers. Content is the new magic word; IP (intellectual property) is seen as the new “cash cow”.

When it comes to digitisation, Helen Sun, the CEO of Beijing Ingenta Digital Publishing Technology Limited, is one of China’s most profiled managers. As part of The Markets, she will provide information about trends and the specifics of the online boom in the Chinese book market.

Overview of the Chinese book market:
Second largest book market in the world (after the USA)
440,000 titles (2013), including 57 per cent new releases
Sales 2013: 77 billion yuan (12.8 billion USD)
582 national publishers

The complete report is available at

The Markets: Global Publishing Summit
Organised by the Frankfurt Book Fair and Publishing Perspectives
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Further information about the event and how to register is available online at and
An Early Bird discount of 20 per cent off regular ticket prices is valid until 15 August 2015.